We are continuing on with our interview series with Team England Para Cheer athletes.
Our next interview is with Emily Alner.
Emily is a backspot on the team and has EDS (Hyper-mobility syndrome)
Why did you want to join Team England ParaCheer?
I wanted to join ParaCheer as I had followed Rick and his journey with Wheelchair Partner Stunt from the beginning. I teach dance and cheer to all ages and abilities, including some athletes with disabilities and strongly believe that cheer should be accessible to all. For me, also being disabled, ParaCheer has given me the opportunity to compete at a high level at Worlds, by focusing on my strengths rather than my weaknesses. I feel it’s really important that there are also people with invisible disabilities like mine on the team as it spreads understanding about conditions like mine which are still very disabling without having any clear outward signs
What’s your favourite part of being on Team England ParaCheer?
The best part of being on ParaCheer is that I can still be on a team with other athletes at a high level, even though I am a strong back base, I cannot tumble or jump, ParaCheer allows me to be a valued member of the team despite this! They use me for my abilities and understand and allow for my disability.
Are there any stunt/technique adaptations you make or are a part of which you find especially interesting? (tell us about it and why its interesting?
One of the bases in my group doesn’t have her left arm below the elbow, she’s been participating in mainstream cheerleading for years however so no longer struggles with the changes this causes. The base opposite her has to have a much wider and lower stance to accommodate the shorter extensions and the flyer has to stand without a hand under the front of her foot. There are also adaptations to the way we all train in that we have longer and more frequent break times to help with the fatigue I and some of the other disabled athletes have to deal with.
It’s really interesting to hear about what and how you make your adaptations.
Thank you for sitting down with us Emily and good luck at Worlds 2016
Until next time guys
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